Frequently Asked Questions
Q. "How does a tankless heater provide hot water without a storage tank?"
A. Tankless water heaters heat on demand. The water is heated as it flows through the unit. Automated valves control water and gas flow so that your water comes out at the temperature you set it to.
Q. "Your products specify the 'temp. rise' based on the GPM flow; what do you mean by this?"
A. Temperature rise is the amount the heater raises the temperature of the incoming water, based on the flow rate shown of that water.
Q. "What's the difference between a conventional flue and a direct vent?"
A. A conventional flue is what most people are familiar with. It typically consists of a double-wall flue pipe going from the top of the heater through the roof, venting outside. The fixture draws its combustion air from the space around it (utility room, garage, hallway, etc.). A direct-vent unit vents and draws its combustion air through a specially designed pipe from the outside via an adjacent wall.
Q. "What do you mean by commercial grade heat exchanger?"
A. This Noritz tankless hot water heater has a heat exchanger made with Type K copper piping, which is 25% thicker than the average heat exchanger in most tankless water heaters. Since the heat exchanger is what conducts the heat from the burner to the water, it is subject to a lot of stress. Having thicker copper means that the unit is more durable and will heat more water before the heat exchanger needs to be replaced. This Noritz residential tankless water heater has a 12 year limited heat exchanger warranty for residential use.
Q. "Can I use PVC to vent the NR981 as well as the condensing tankless water heaters?"
A. No. The temperature of the exhaust is too high to safely use PVC as venting material for standard tankless water heaters. We never recommend PVC as venting even where the ideal exhaust temperatures would technically allow it due to a much higher incident of dangerous issues associated with PVC venting on poorly-maintained gas tankless water heaters.
Q. "Okay, but the NRC98 has PVC flue adapters, so I have to use PVC with that one, right?"
A. The manufacturer of the NRC98 condensing tankless water heater states that it is designed specifically for use with PVC or CPVC 3" or 4" venting materials. We recommend a stringent maintenance schedule to maintain the efficiency of your condensing tankless water heater and prevent potential issues with PVC venting. Specifically, be aware of scaling on the heat exchanger which lessens the efficiency of the water heater and allows higher temperature exhaust to escape. Depending on your water quality, an acid neutralizer and/or water softener may be helpful in protecting your investment in a condensing tankless water heater and preventing exhaust temperatures from exceeding safety parameters for PVC venting.
Q. "How does the Water Heater Scale Inhibitor System prevent corrosion?"
A. It forms a thin protective layer on the inside of pipes and metal parts. This film or layer is microscopic in thickness and will not build up over time.
Q. "What are the best reasons to install a Scale Inhibitor System?"
A. A Scale Inhibitor System helps protect the system by reducing scale buildup and adding to the longevity and efficiency of the heater.
Q. "This is a water heater. Why would I need a battery backup?"
A. Since this tankless water heater has direct electronic ignition, power is needed to create a spark, as well as run the computer and remote. A battery backup is not required, but may be beneficial if you are in an area where there are frequent power outages as this would help provide power to your Nortiz tankless hot water heater for a short time. When choosing a battery backup, which can be purchased locally, please note it must produce a pure sine wave. Also, battery backups are only for indoor units that are plugged in as opposed to hardwired.
Q. "Will an instantaneous water heater save me money on my utility bills?"
A. In many applications you can see a savings. There are some variables that could reduce the amount you save. One example is you will not run out of hot water, so longer showers could cut into your savings. Also, the cost of electricity, propane and natural gas in your area will affect the amount of money saved. The higher the cost for the energy type used to heat your water, the quicker you can recover the higher initial cost of installing a tankless versus tank style water heater.
- You will never run out of hot water. "You want an hour long shower? No problem!"
- Electric units can be installed at the point of use.
- You're not paying energy costs to heat water 24 hours a day.
- They're easy to install.
- Our electric units don't require a T&P valve (no tank!) - if code allows
- Installing a tankless water heater can indeed be a bonus to the environment (why should we choose wastefulness when
we're talking about finite natural resources?)
- They all need a minimum flow rate & pressure to turn on.
- The faster water flows through them, the lower the temperature rise. So, if you expect to take a shower while the clothes washer is running, you will need to select a unit sized to your maximum hot water flow requirements. (Gas units generally handle this a little better than electric models)
- Electric units need heavy gauge wire. Example: the 9.5kw must have 8ga wire and a 50amp breaker.
- Gas units need a much larger, special flue pipe and larger gas supply than a conventional water heater.
- At times they can produce very hot water. It's easier to get scalded.
- Gas units are more complicated than a conventional water heater.
- With some brands, parts are hard to find (not a negative if you originally purchase from us, as we like to carry parts for the units that we sell).
Tankless water heaters have their place. They're not "the answer" to every hot water need, but if they're used correctly they can be the solution to many of them.